Dominated by Chinese colonists, most people refer to the red planet as Huo Hsing, rather than Mars.
The desert is like the sea, the sands shift ebb and flow and with them so does life. The tide is in ebb, and Xen'da'rik is dying.
There are few places more treacherous than pools of quicksand save for a sea of quicksand. Those who tread here quickly find that the lust for adventure or coin might leave them with a sinking feeling of despair.
I dream of rain; I dream of gardens in the desert sand
--Sting, Desert Rose
The shining city of glass and mirror within the forboding Karikun desert. Welcome to the home city and birthplace of the Ouzquin Dremorix.
City of Kings, City of Angels! Baisaltir welcomes all!
"Greetings travellers! You must have had a harsh journey through the desert."
"We didn't see this city was on the map."
"We're just a few like-minded folks trying to keep the world out."
"How many people live here?"
"Just a few of us, and now you."
"Today the name Abydos belongs to a small town built on the edge of the deep desert, but this was not always so."
A hidden gem in the hinterlands of Calcobrina
I did not think there was a crime heinous enough to deserve this place as a sentence..
"Zutul? You mean someone took time to give it a name?"
Maj. Rielle Law
The wastes are cruel, and beneath the desolation they hide many secrets.
An ocean of fine silt, shot through with pillars and islands of ancient stone, this realm would be a thing of harsh beauty were it not for the utterly lifeless nature of it.
The Great King long ago ceased attempting to police the wastelands of his Border Marches, and these debatable lands fell into the hands of petty counts, retired generals, and warlords, who constructed and then abandoned many keeps ripe for plunder.
During certain years, people in Akgku claim to observe a green flame coming from the sea and erupting upward. It can be observed from a distance of two days’ journey or more. After burning for a considerable time, the flame disappears.
—Falklyde Wodinger, Haraconian scholar, in route to wondrous Udross and legendary Akgku.
The Wastes can be beautiful. Here the land is toxic: slowly corrosive to the touch, causing illness and death with prolonged contact. The bubbling sulfur and ectomass pools (HellPits too) are especially lovely, if you have the right aesthetic. The soil is soft and any heavy object slowly sinks. If it was not for the special resources here (dyes, alchemical elements, resins, Grimrock, Verner glands, etc), it would be a place that no one would come.
The Ocadian Desert is a desolate place. The spirit of the land has been crushed, changing the region from a series of islands with evergreen forests and animals in a shallow sea, to one of the most inhospitable places on the Sphere.
The Horrors and Wonders of a distant, sun-drenched land. Everything you need to run a desert campaign!
With silent wings may your soul fly to the Spirit Home
A vast city nearly built in ages past by a long-lost race of giants. Now the vast stone structure contains no less then three seperate kingdoms.
Bag on a Stick
Very simple gag but a great one, since it can be used multiple times over, even in the same adventure. Great for tribal natives gone restless and humanoids, but anyone can have set this up. Just what the header says, a simple bag over a stick stuck in the ground or floor.
As GM you can place the bag on a stick anywhere, in a floor crack the heroes have passed before, outdoors in a clearing or path, or at the edge of the PCs' encampment the following morning, what have you. Place anything on the stick - a coiled yellow viper angered by the bag removal, mini crossbow w/poison, transdermal hallucinatory drug dusted on the bag, yellow mold colony, an NPC ally's head, a weapon, scroll tube or satchel, what have you.
The idea is to build tension and/or stall for time/distract the party. Provided it's used properly, you'll be amazed at how paranoid players will get from this simple gag.